Written by Lee Tackett and Tony Pente
|#15 - Parker Bridwell - RHP|
|6-4||190||R||R||8/2/91||9th Rd (2010)|
Scouting Grades - Definitions
|Major League Target Date||Mid-2015|
2013 Stats - Full stats
Bio: Bridwell turned in another uneven season in 2013, alternating between dominant and pedestrian. The Texan had two starts with double-digit strikeouts where it seemed that he could build off the outing to turn the corner, but within another start or two he would struggle again. After a 10-strikeout performance on June 16th and 6.2 scoreless on the 22nd, in two of Bridwell’s next three starts he gave up five runs or more. 2013 was Bridwell’s third turn at Delmarva and although he brought his ERA down by a full point, a 4.73 ERA season from a 21 year old is less than encouraging for his future as a starter.
Stuff: Bridwell’s dominant outings demonstrate that when he is on, he has tremendous stuff. Bridwell’s fastball sits between 92-95 with good life and sink. His fastball command can be considered average at best and his secondary pitches aren’t much better. Bridwell still uses a four-pitch arsenal with a changeup, slider and curveball. His best secondary offering is his much improved changeup that shows plus potential, but it is particularly inconsistent. Both the slider and changeup essentially amount to show pitches. Bridwell is fairly athletic on the mound and with his big frame is able to generate a downward plane that is tough on hitters. However, this large frame also limits his ability to repeat his delivery and his arm slot can be different from pitch to pitch, contributing to his overall inconsistency.
Pitchability and Intangibles: A pitcher does not have a 14-strikeout game without a full plus arsenal. Bridwell’s flashes of brilliance can mask the fact that his lack of command has limited his understanding of how to pitch. As a big time, two-sport athlete in high school, Bridwell was excused for his lack of feel for pitching earlier in his career. Unfortunately, that feel simply has not improved and he remains similar to the inconsistent pitcher with a power arm that he was when he was drafted.
Conclusion: The Orioles are at a crossroads with Bridwell. He did show statistical improvement in 2013, as his strikeouts skyrocketed to more than one an inning and his walks decreased despite nearly 30 more innings pitched. The organization will most likely promote him to Fredrick and continue with him as a starter, but he will be entering his fourth year in pro ball and his inconsistencies are highlighted in a starter's role. With his skill set, he may be better-suited for the bullpen. In a relief role Bridwell would be able to focus on his fastball command and one other secondary pitch and there's a good chance he could get an uptick in velocity while working in short stints. With a more simplified game plan, Bridwell could project as a late inning reliever at the back end of a major league bullpen in either an 8th inning or possible closer role.
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